Would you like to be more focused, confident and relaxed, even in the midst of
chaos? Have you ever found yourself distracted in a situation in which you needed to be focused? An ability to focus and be highly productive is one of the greatest benefits I can attribute to a consistent practice of expressive meditation techniques.
Let's define the word focus. Think about this: when you take a magnifying glass, aligning it with the sun's rays and focusing it on a piece of paper, at some point the paper will catch fire. You have harnessed the power of the sun's rays for a specific result. This illustrates the power of harnessing your energy to focus on something specific to get a very powerful outcome. Not that I am suggesting that you set fire to everything in sight! But once you understand how to do this with your own energy, everything becomes possible for you. Focus is a quality you can bring to any activity, a quality of relaxed alertness, presence, clarity of mind, and creativity. It means being 100 percent present. Imagine, for example, walking along a beach, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, listening to the waves crashing on the shore, aware of the sand touching your feet, tasting the salty tang of the sea air, seeing the blues of the sky and sea and the yellow of the sand. All five senses are involved with enjoying every moment. You are fully present in this in-the-body experience.
Why are we so easily distracted? Have you ever been in a meeting or talking with your partner and found yourself drifting when you knew you were supposed to be focusing? Why does that happen to us? Because we are full to overflowing with mental clutter, emotional turmoil, and physical stress, and it is just plain difficult to stay focused.
Would you like to know how to eliminate all that inner clutter? Do an expressive meditation technique. The Gibberish meditation, for example, allows you to dump out mental overload and physical and emotional stress so that your mind is fresh and uncluttered.
The Gibberish Meditation: Stage One: Close your eyes. Put on a blindfold if you can because it helps keep the eyes closed. Start speaking in gibberish, any nonsense sounds. Don't worry about what you sound like. Just go totally mad. This is therapeutic madness. Make any sounds you like; just don't speak in a language or use words that you know. Allow yourself to express whatever needs to be expressed within you. Go consciously crazy. Sing, cry, shout, scream, mumble. Let your body go free, stamp, stomp, jump, skip, lie down, run in circles. Do whatever you feel like doing without harming anyone. Do not let up. Keep a steady stream of sound going. If you are doing this meditation with other people, don't get distracted by what they are doing. Stay with what is happening with you. If you cannot make loud sounds, for example if you live in an apartment complex, then mouth the sounds silently but with the same force as if you were shouting out loud.
Stage Two: Sit in silence and watch with non-judgment.
Start with five minutes of each stage and increase the amount of time if you wish. Spend the same amount of time on each stage
Other emotions, such as joy, excitement, sadness and grief - indeed, our full spectrum of emotions - can also be expressed with this technique, resulting in emotional balance, calm and inner peace.
The Laughter meditation is a great way to release emotional, physical, and mental stress, resulting in increased creativity, joy and a greater ability to focus. Through the laughter meditation technique, you can make a conscious practice of using laughter to release your tension and help you to drop deeper into inner silence and stillness. Laughter serves as a bridge to take us deeper into our inner silence.
The Laughter Meditation:
Stage one: start laughing and laugh for no reason.
Stage two: sit in silence and watch with non-judgment.
You can do this for any amount of time that you choose, just do the same for each stage. Start with five minutes of each stage.
This structure helps keep the balance between the extroverted nature of stage one and the introverted nature of stage two. It is the balanced awareness and expression of both of these energies that brings you to a deeper harmony and peace within yourself.
The Dancing meditation is a great way to direct your energy inward, to release tension or unwind. Dancing invokes your joy, your creativity, your life force energy. Feeling free in your body allows your mind to expand, your heart to open, and your spirit to fly.
Dancing Meditation: Stage One: Put on some music that you find uplifting and fills you with joy. Dance with eyes closed - make sure you clear some space first!
Lie down in silence with eyes closed and allow the energy you have generated through the dance to take you into deep meditation.
As you use these, and other expressive techniques, to clear out your inner clutter you attain clarity of mind, emotional integrity, and greater access to your sense of humor and creativity. Your ability to focus greatly increases for longer periods of time. Meditation is a quality of presence, offers clarity of mind, and opens the door to creativity. It means being 100 percent present. You can bring to any activity that quality of relaxed alertness. Do you remember? This is exactly how we defined focus!
Using the principles she teaches, Pragito Dove transformed her fear and grief into joy and inner peace. Now she shares these secrets with others. Dove is president of Discover Meditation Training Inc., one of the most cutting-edge meditation training companies in North America. She lives in Marin County, California and her website is www.pragito.com.
Based on the book Laugher, Tears, Silence. Copyright @ 2010 by Pragito Dove. Reprinted with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com or 800/972-6657 ext. 52.